Major BACI event: Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Dr Brad Anderson

The AGM of the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland — open to all — will be held in St Patrick’s Church, Greystones, on September 25th from 6.30pm.

The AGM Lecture — “Reading Old Testament Stories: Theological Challenges and Opportunities” — will be given by Dr Brad Anderson of Mater Dei, DCU, and Chair of the Irish Biblical Association. The AGM – with the governing theme of “BACI –The Way Forward” – will be chaired by the Right Reverend Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Church of Ireland Bishop of the United Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe.

Substantial refreshments will be served from 6.30pm with the lecture at 7.30pm. Those attending will be invited to make a donation of €10 to cover expenses, which will entitle donors to vote at the AGM.

To ensure your place and to help caterers, please kindly confirm your intention to attend by emailing

This event supports BACI’s purpose in serving as a ‘bridge’ between clerical and lay, academic and faith-based approaches to the Bible within the Church of Ireland and in conversation with ecumenical partners.

Date: 25 September at 6.30pm
Place: St Patrick’s Church, Church Road, Greystones

  • 6.30pm Welcome, registration and refreshments
  • 7.30pm Lecture by Dr Brad Anderson: “Reading Old Testament Stories — Theological Challenges and Opportunities”
  • 8.45pm Break
  • 9.00pm AGM –“BACI – the Way Forward” — chaired by Bishop Kenneth Kearon


Death of Judith Wilkinson, BACI hon. treasurer.

It is with great sadness that BACI marks the passing of Juidth Wilkinson on Saturday, 16 May. She was 60 years old.

Judith Wilkinson served as BACI’s honorary treasurer since our formation five years ago and was a great support to us in that capacity. With her knowledge of the market for Bible-related literature and her accounting skills, she was always generous with her advice and her time and willingly took on the task of keeping our financial affairs in order. We offer our condolences on her death after a long illness to her father Leslie Wilkinson, and our thanks to God for all that she gave us and the wider church, especially through her work as General Secretary of the National Bible Society of Ireland.

A new treasurer will be formally appointed at BACI’s AGM on September 25th after the Annual Lecture, to be given by Dr Brad Anderson at St Patrick’s Church. Greystones, at 7pm.

Fifth Lent Study Available


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BACI’s fifth Lenten Bible Study is now available for free download. The study offered for 2015 is on “Same-sex Issues and the Bible.”

The five weeks are:

Week 1. The Teaching of Jesus.
Week 2. Leviticus – the prohibitions of Chapters 18 and 20
Week 3. Genesis 1 and 2 – Implications from the Creation narratives
Week 4. Romans 1.18- 32 – Paul’s teaching on unnatural and depraved sexual activity
Week 5. 1 Cor.6.9-11. & Acts 10–11. Sin lists, condemnation and redemption

The A4 cover is here, the A3 here, and the B&W is available for A4 and A3 covers.

This study has received the following commendation from His Grace, the Archbishop of Dublin,

Having been invited to commend this volume produced by BACI for Lent 2015, I am willing and happy to do so. My hope and prayer are that the Studies contained within it will contribute to the enlargement of the attentive listening on which we are currently engaged across the Church of Ireland in the area of human sexuality in the context of Christian belief. Both the subject and its content have long aroused significant energy and vigorous argument on the part of many people. My hope and prayer would be that attentive listening might bear the fruit of respectful hearing.

–++Michael Jackson

Ecumenical Bible Week


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8-15 June 2014 is Ecumenical Bible Week. An impressive number of events will be held during this week in Dublin and its surroundings, and they can be seen on the poster and program, or below.

One of the speakers participating in this event is BACI chair, Rev. Dr. William Olhausen.

Bible Week May 14 Poster A3 v3B Final proof

Together in One Place 6pp DL v7B(final)

Lent 2014: Church and Culture–Available and to be Launched Shortly


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As recently announced in the Church of Ireland Gazette, BACI’s fourth Lent course, on the Church and Culture, is now available for free download. It is now available from the above page, or the A4 can be accessed here and the A5 here. The study has been specifically designed to promote thoughtful discussion at parish level of Christian attitudes to our surrounding culture, whatever our specific tradition within the Church of Ireland family.

Formal Launches

The study will be formally launched in both Dublin and Belfast.  On 16th January, the Lent 2014 study will be launched with receptions in Christ Church Cathedral Dublin (6.45pm) by the Dean, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne. On  20th January it will be launched in the northern province in Belfast Cathedral (6pm) by one of BACI’s patrons, Archbishop Richard Clarke. Printed copies of the study will be available at both launches, and all interested are most warmly welcome to attend.

Printed copies will shortly be available for purchase as well.

(Belated) BACI STUDY DAY, September 7th 2013: ‘Bibles gather dust on shelves’



INTRODUCING a study day sponsored by the Biblical Association of the Church of Ireland, Dr William Olhausen said that BACI had been set up because of a sense that the Bible was too often gathering dust on shelves rather than being thoughtfully used. Lay people are increasingly well-educated but not in the exciting developments in biblical study. The conference was held in the Theological Institute, Dublin, on September 7th.

The speakers, Dr Ian Paul (formerly of St John’s Nottingham and now editor of Grove booklets) and Dr Andrew Rogers (of Roehampton University and the author of the well-known H+ course on biblical interpretation) were theologians and educators who have also been in leadership positions in various churches. They emphasised the challenges and opportunities of engaging with the Bible in meaningful and responsible ways. Explanation and interpretation is necessary to get the full meaning of Bible passages.  Jesus himself  explained the Scriptures to the disciples in Luke 24,v25-27. On another occasion (Luke chapter 10) he asked the question, ‘How do you read the commandments?’

Dr Ian Paul said that the reality is that we are all interpreters of the Bible, whether or not we acknowledge it explicitly. In fact interpretation is at the heart of the New Testament, at the heart of Christian faith, and at the heart of mission.

Dr Andrew Rogers spoke of the “virtues” needed for “making good sense of the Bible”: perseverance, confidence, honesty, faithfulness, humility, courage, openness, and community.

Both speakers gave lively and stimulating presentations to a full room. Participants included clergy from several parts of the country, students, lay readers and others interested in Bible study.

L to R are: Dr Ian Paul, Canon Dr. Ginnie Kennerley, Dr Andrew Rogers, and Rev. Dr. William Olhausen.

L to R are: Dr Ian Paul, Canon Dr. Ginnie Kennerley, Dr Andrew Rogers, and Rev. Dr. William Olhausen.

BACI sept2014photo 2

2014 BACI Lent Course Announced


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For Lent 2014 BACI is offering a themed biblical study which looks at the relationship the church and culture. Like the previous three years’ studies, this study has five weeks which use Old and New Testament readings. The material will shortly be available on this website.  In the meantime, a sample cover and the introduction are available here or in the Lent 2014 tab above.


BACI Annual Conference, ‘The Spirit of Biblical Interpretation’, to take place at Church of Ireland Theological Institute on 7th September 2013

Reading the Bible has always been at the heart of Christian identity. It has shaped both our doctrine and how we live as Christians. How do we make sense of the Bible today and how does it become for us both the ‘living bread’ and the ‘sword of the Spirit’? Our two speakers bring a wealth of wisdom and experience to the area of biblical interpretation and are committed to equipping clergy and laity to be faithful readers and interpreters of Scripture. 


The day begins at 9.30 with registration and coffee and will conclude by 4p.m.  The cost is €20 and this will include coffee and lunch.  Whilst the conference is a Church of Ireland initiative, it is open to Christians of all traditions. The keynote speakers are Rev. Dr Ian Paul and Dr Andrew Rogers. 


Revd Dr Ian Paul is Director of Communication at St John’s College Nottingham.  He also teaches New Testament and hermeneutics. He has published both popular and academic works on the Bible and its interpretation. He is also a regular speaker at New Wine and other national and regional conferences.

Dr Andrew Rogers is Senior Lecturer in Practical Theology and Programme Convener for Ministerial theology at Roehampton University. He is also the author of the h+ Course, a 10 week course on the art and science of biblical interpretation. 

Please contact Rev. William Olhausen ( or Dr David Hutchinson Edgar ( for further details and/or to book a place. Payment on the day by cash or cheque.


Launch of Lent 2013 Bible Studies


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BACI patron the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson will be launching the group’s Lent 2013 Bible Study Resource on ‘Gender Justice’ on Tuesday January 15th at 7pm in the Theological Institute, Braemor Park, Dublin 6.

This set of five Bible Studies pairs passages related to this theme from the Old Testament and the New Testament each week, offering reflections, notes and questions for group discussion.  It is hoped that each one will help participants consider how these texts of scripture may challenge and inspire us today.

The particular themes for each week are as follows:

1)    Pushing social boundaries

2)    Sin, responsibility and justice

3)    Gentile women in Nehemiah and Acts

4)    Power, abuse, victimhood and mutuality

5)    Destitution, determination and inspiration

A selection of prayers on the theme and a bibliography are included for use throughout the series; also a questionnaire which participants are asked to return as requested by the ACC’s Bible in the Life of the Church project, which has asked member churches to reflect on this theme as well as on Economic Justice, which was our subject last Lent.

These materials were written and compiled for BACI by the following: Dr Katie Heffelfinger, Dr David Hutchinson Edgar, Revd Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, Revd  Dr William Olhausen, Dr Jason Silverman, Revd Canon Helene Steed, and Ms Jacqui Wilkinson.

It is hoped that the Bible Study Resource will also be formally launched in the northern province in the course of the same week. (Negotiations are in progress.)

Lent 2013 — Advanced Notice


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Following on with BACI’s series of Bible Studies for Lent, BACI is currently preparing a study on The Bible in the Life of the Church‘s final topic, Gender Justice.

The study will follow the format of the revised Economic Justice produced for the BiLC from the Lent 2012 study: there will be five weeks of paired OT/NT readings, with introductions, notes, and study questions. This year the study will attempt to add a broader array of prompts, including relevant images and narratives related to the theme of Gender Justice and the context of the Church of Ireland. A number of BACI previous authors will again be contributing to the study, but several new authors are also participating.

Look for downloads to be available around late December/early January. If you are interested in the course and do not hear about it, remember we can be emailed at


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